10.11.2016 10:23 AM

Debates: do you wonder…

Wonder no more.

More people watch these things on YouTube than they do on TV, as I’ve written before.  Which means – as smart performers like Trudeau and Clinton evidently know – televised leaders’ debates are all about who wins the war of the clips, now, and not the actual debate itself.




  1. dave constable says:

    It’s only a couple of days after the debate. But last week was a bizarre week in their Big Two presidential campaigns. All those wikileaks and raunchy talk tape pushed things like climate, wars economics and such to the side. I just looked at Real Clear, and I am puzzled that the Trump campaign, though behind, is hanging in with so much support. I guy would think he would be behind Johnson, maybe behind Stein. But, no, the polls show more single digit differences than double.
    The recent Duma elections got a 47% turn out in Russia. Here we had a big turn out for us, and it was still only 68%
    I am beginning to wonder, given the distrust of both Big Two candidates, what the turn out will be in USA November 8th.
    Of course, it helps the turn out that all kinds of other offices will be voted on, too.

  2. Kelly says:

    There’s so much confirmation bias now. People go to sites that interpret events in ways they like. That’s why it is very hard to move the needle. However the Trump candidacy is just such a dangerous mix of gong show and cock fight that Trump is gradually crumbling. I still worry that if he claws back to within 5 points on election day he will win because a percentage of Trump supporters will never admit that they support him, even to pollsters. I fear that he polls low. Would like to see deeper analysis on this.

  3. Eddie Lee says:

    For me…I watched online so that I could also watch the Blue Jays defeat Texas!! Woo hoo!! It’s was a real treat to mute American commentators on the Canadian game while also not having to watch Donald’s lips while talking!

  4. Ridiculosity says:


    1. Nobody pays attention to mainstream media anymore. Why would waste media dollars on it?

    2. Trudeau won the debates while Harper seethed and Mulcair glared.

    3. Fight back? As Shaw said, “Never wrestle with pigs. You both get dirty and the pig likes it.’

  5. james elder says:

    Michael Moore on republicans, the trump shitshow and the legislated abuse of women. wow.


  6. Charlie says:

    1) Because communicating via traditional media is a good way of making yourself irrelevant quicker. Plus, you have way more control over the message for a fraction of the cost. Also, millennials make things worth covering for traditional media; two birds, one stone.

    2) Its relative to what you think a great debate performance is. With reactions being real time on social media, we’ve gotten excessively pretentious towards debate performances. Gone are the days of “you did have a choice sir!” or “how could you expect a promotion if you don’t show up for work” because those lines are now going to be muddled by hyper-analysis.

    For the record though, I think Trudeau did spectacular in the Macleans debate (“my number is 9!”). He was good in the other debates by bringing energy and concise arguments instead of an asshole-y attitude like Mulcair and an indifferent demeanour like Harper.

    3) Had Hillary fought back each one of Trump’s insane lies and accusations she would have legitimized them and validated what is plain-and-simple slander. Plus, when your opponent has the incredible ability of highlighting his own controversies, you don’t get in the way.

    I think she’s smart to not engage Trump in that fashion. It forces us as critics to feel more passionate and responsible in pushing back on Trump’s inconsistencies; which, in turn, requires us to feel more ownership over the election. If there is one smart thing the Clinton campaign can do its to allow the gravity of the situation hit home in any way possible. Hillary can’t let this become a Clinton vs Trump election, but a Trump vs You/Us election.

  7. Maps Onburt says:

    Say I posted before but I don’t see it so here goes again. Unfortunately debate performances are often “won” by the person most rude and annoying. Trudeau won the public view of the debates by talking over and shouting. His Dad would have won it with his intelligence and empassioned arguments (even if I didn’t agree with his position I could agree that he made his points oh so much better than Stanfield and Clark). Unfortunately now, the attitude of a spoiled five year old is what you need to win. For the best post debate summary of the last debate I refer you to:


    Completely non-partisan and about as an accurate a summary of the second debate as you’ll find. It is very funny if sad because unfortunately for the citizens of the world, it’s just about true

  8. Luke says:

    Funny you mention this. In the first debate, I was concerned Hillary’s dismissive disposition when Trump was ranting and raving would come across to soft Trump supporters that she was also being dismissive of the concerns he represents. (The legitimacy of anything he says is not the point here — I know as does seemingly everybody that he is a lie machine and a piece of garbage.) But when I was seeing the summary coverage on various news/commentary shows afterwards, my sole impression was that Hillary Clinton was fucking amazing. Clips, clips, clips. I hope it works. A Trump win would be interesting, certainly, but I’d prefer to not see the consequences.

  9. bluegreenblogger says:

    lol, yep. Funny how some Candidates are debating to win an election, while others debate to win a debate. The real trick is to do both at once, win the audience listening, while delivering the perfect clips and stills for the butterflies who will tune in tomorrow for a few minutes

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